Transform movie night by making this Copycat Movie Theater Popcorn at home. It’s delicious, easy, and so budget-friendly!
This recipe serves four and costs $1.22 to make. That’s just 31¢ per serving!
There is just something about sitting in a theater eating popcorn while watching a movie that can’t be beaten. It’s an All-American experience that I like to indulge in.
I love to get to the theater early, get snacks and a drink, and get settled into my seat. I love to indulge in the buttery goodness of popcorn while I’m entertained for the next 2 hours.
Ahhh, it’s wonderful. However, what if you’re craving delicious butter-filled popcorn that you can only get at the theater but you are not actually going to the movies?
Movie Theater Popcorn recipe
You better believe I won’t let you deprive yourself of your favorite movie snack. That’s exactly why I developed this Copycat Movie Theater Popcorn recipe. For times like this when none of us should go out.
10 minutes is all that you need to kick your family movie night up a few notches! Oh, and did I mention that this recipe comes in under $2.00?!
What is better than that? Imagine sitting in the comfort of your own home with your family watching a fun movie and enjoying the best popcorn out there. Your movie nights just got a whole lot better with this movie theater popcorn recipe!
What movie will you be watching tonight while tricking your taste buds into thinking you are actually at the movies while eating this popcorn?
Ingredients and Estimated Cost
Per Serving Cost: $0.31
Recipe Cost: $1.22
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter – $0.80
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil – $0.12
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels – $0.29
- Salt, to taste – $0.01
NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.
How To Make Movie Theater Popcorn
- First, melt the butter in a glass measuring cup. Scrape the foamy top on the butter and discard.
- Next, in a large pot melt the coconut oil over high heat. Add in the popcorn kernels and swirl to coat all the kernels. Shake the pot often to avoid burning.
- Then, place the lid on the pot when the first kernel pops, with the lid ajar a little.
- Shake the pot often until the popping slows down. After the popping slows down, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for a minute.
- Slowly stream the clarified butter over the popcorn (stop streaming the butter once you get to the milk solids).
- Finally, stir the popcorn and season with salt.
***For complete recipe instructions and a recipe video, see the recipe card below!
- Instead of salt, you can use seasoning salt, cajun seasoning, or even your favorite BBQ seasoning.
- Sometimes I like to add grated Parmesan and chili powder to my popcorn, YUM!
- Glass liquid measuring cup
- Large heavy-bottomed pot
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Rubber scraper
- popcorn bowl
Coconut oil or canola oil is what they use for popcorn at movie theaters. Both of these oils give a cleaner taste and are actually a healthier option over other oils so that is good news for sure!
Movie theaters actually use butter-flavored oil. This helps to make popcorn not turn to mush from all those layers of butter being poured on. However, real clarified butter will have the same effect as butter-flavored oil.
Clarified butter is when unsalted butter is melted slowly to allow the milk solids to separate and the water to evaporate. This then leaves only the pure butterfat or liquid gold to drizzle over your popcorn. The recipe below covers how to get clarified butter.
More Movie Time Snacks:
- Best Philly Cheesesteak Dip
- Butterfinger Scotcheroos
- Homemade French Onion Dip
- Homemade Pimento Cheese Dip
- Pepperoni Pizza Rolls
- Rice Krispie Treats
- S’mores Snack Mix
- Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Recipe
- Air Fryer Pasta Chips
- Cinnamon Sugar Smoked Almonds
Copycat Movie Theater Popcorn
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ cup popcorn kernels yellow or white
- Salt to taste
- Add butter to a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup with a spout.
- Melt butter on HIGH in the microwave until melted, about 25-45 seconds.
- Use a spoon to scrape the top layer of film from the butter. Set aside.
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, add the coconut oil. Once the coconut oil is melted, put on oven mitts and add popcorn kernels. Swirl the pot until the kernels are coated in oil.
- Shake the pot frequently over the burner so the kernels don’t burn. Once a couple of kernels pop, put on the lid but leave it ajar.
- Continue to shake the pot frequently over the burner until the popping slows down to 3 seconds between pops.
- Remove the pot from the burner and let it sit with the lid ajar for 1 minute (this will give any remaining kernels time to pop).
- Remove the lid and pour the clarified butter into the popcorn in a steady stream. Once the clarified butter has been poured out and just milk solids remain, STOP. Transfer the milk solids to a container and keep it in the refrigerator for another use.
- Toss the popcorn until evenly coated in butter and season to taste with salt. Serve.
- This recipe will make about 14 cups of popcorn.
- I’ve tried doubling the recipe, but I always end up with burnt popcorn because the kernels don’t cover the bottom of the pan in an even layer. If you want more popcorn, cook it in batches.
- You need to use coconut oil to get that authentic movie theater taste. No substitutions, please.